Fireman Sam (Welsh: Sam Tân) is a Welsh animated children's television series about a fireman called Sam, his fellow firefighters, and other townspeople in the Welsh town of Pontypandy (a portmanteau of two real towns, Pontypridd and Tonypandy, which are situated approximately 5 miles apart in the South Wales valleys). The original idea for the show came from two ex-firemen from Kent. They took their idea to artist/writer Rob Lee who developed the concept for them. The finished concept was then presented to S4C who saw the potential in the series and commissioned it.
Fireman Sam first appeared in his native Welsh language on S4C in 1985 and later in English throughout the United Kingdom on BBC1 in 1987. The series finished in 1994 but remains popular well over a decade after the last episode was aired. The series was also shown dubbed in Gaelic in Scotland, where it was known as Sam Smalaidh. The series has been sold to over 40 countries, from Australia to Norway and is used across the UK to promote fire safety.